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Medications are given through an IV to calm the patient. Throughout the procedure, the patient’s heart and oxygen levels are monitored. The groin area is prepared and the surgeon numbs the region with a local anesthetic. A tiny sheath is inserted into the femoral artery where a catheter is threaded up to the brain. While there may be an initial sensation when the catheter is first inserted, the patient will not feel it as it moves through the body.
After the catheter reaches the brain, a contrast agent is injected through the IV which illuminates the vessels. Patients may experience some flushing and headache or have a salty taste in the mouth. Medication can be given to control any nausea. Images will be taken so that the surgeon can make a definitive diagnosis.
About one hour.
You will have to elevate your leg for about six hours. Additionally, you will be monitored to ensure that there is no bleeding at the puncture site or any reactions to the contrast dye.
You will feel better within a day, but should refrain from lifting or exercise for at least three days. Do not perform any strenuous exercise until your doctor says it is OK.
The most common, but rare risk is reaction to the contrast dye. Other extremely rare complications include vessel wall rupture from the induction of the catheter, stroke, bleeding at the aneurysm site, seizure, other internal bleeding, irregular heartbeat, kidney impairment from reaction to the dye and infection.
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